GRAEME Twaddle will reprise his role as coach at North Warrnambool Eagles, stepping up as sole senior footy coach for the first time in 2018.
The Eagles mentor has shared coaching duties at the club the past three seasons – first with Brendan Murfett and then Rory Taggert in 2017.
Twaddle and Taggert had indicated they would not be seeking reappointment after the 2017 season, but Twaddle, who was heading the search for a new coach, found he still had a great drive to lead the team he has been at the helm of since late 2014.
“I was proactive in finding a replacement coach and the more I went on, the more motivated I was,” Twaddle said.
“The more I spoke about how good our playing group is and the direction the club is taking, the more I got the want to continue.
“I feel like, with the tenure I had, I didn’t get to achieve what I wanted to achieve.
“It’s really important for us to be strong from a club point of view and I think in most parts we’ve achieved that, however the area that we need to tick the box in is a senior premiership.”
Twaddle and Murfett led the Eagles to the grand final in 2016, while Twaddle and Taggert saw a different-look team to the 2017 elimination final.
The newly-reappointed coach is keen to build on the strong foundations the club has in place across its football department.
The Eagles won the Hampden reserves and under 18.5 footy premierships this year, and are making player retention a priority.
“We’ve got some really strong foundations in place,” Twaddle said. “Our short-term focus is definitely on player retention.”
Taggert’s future at the club is still undecided, but Twaddle was hopeful the former AFL-listed player might yet don the blue and gold again next season.
“My understanding is Rory was looking at some employment opportunities in South Australia, however if they don’t come to fruition, he’d still be a North Warrnambool player,” Twaddle said.
“He’s a respected and integral part of our playing group, however we respect whatever he decides and give him our support.”